Make your own free website on Tripod.com


 

The Ben Folds Five Frequesntly Asked Questions (FAQ) v2.0 (02/20/97)
Table of Contents
Part I: About Ben Folds Five
1. Chronology and Personnel
A. Who is in Ben Folds Five?
B. What is the origin of the name?
C. Have any of the members been involved with other artists?
2. Who have Ben Folds Five toured with?
3. Is the band on the Internet?
4. What can be expected if I see the band live?
Part II: Album Questions
1. D-Tox Jackson Cannery 7"
A. What are the track listings?
B. Is this still available?
2. Self-titled album
A. What are the differences between the tape and CD versions?
B. Why is there sometimes talking at the beginning/end of tracks?
C. Who is Anna Goodman?
D. What is "Where's Summer B.?" about? Who is Summer B.?
3. Whatever & Ever Amen
A. General information
B. What are the songs about?
Part III: Miscellaneous
1. How can I contact the band?
2. Are band t-shirts available if I didn't go to any of the live shows?
3. Frank Maynard's mailing list
A. What is it?
B. How do I join the list?
4. Has the band made any television appearances?
Part IV: Legal stuff
1. Who wrote this FAQ?
2. Can I re-distribute this FAQ?
3. Misc. legal information


 

Part I: About Ben Folds Five
1. Chronology and Personnel
A. Who is in Ben Folds Five?
Ben Folds, piano & vocals
Robert Sledge, bass & backing vocals
Darren Jessee, drums & backing vocals
B. What is the origin of the name?
According to Ben, Ben Folds Five received it's name (despite the fact that the band only consists of 3 members) because it "sounds better than Ben Folds Three."
C. Have any of the members been involved with other artists?
Yes, and a whole slew of them, too:
Ben: Began in a band called Majosha, which later evloved into Pots & Pans. Gillmer Derge sums up the whole Majosha/P&P controversy:
---
Around early 1988 Majosha formed and played their first gig at Duke University's Battle of the Bands. They won. At that time, Majosha was Ben on bass, Millard Powers on guitar, some guy named Dave on drums and a fourth guy (Rob?) who was never heard from again.
For the purposes of historical completeness, it should bem mentioned that at that time, Majosha was spelled with an accent over the o. At some point that was dropped, mostly because people were too stupid to realize that the accent didn't mean it was Muh-joe'-sha (it's Muh-jah'-sha).
They played bars and frat parties for a while and eventually put out a self-produced EP sold at a few local stores called "Party Night: Five Songs About Jesus." There were 4 songs, and none were about Jesus. I think the 4 songs were: Get That Bug (Outta Your System), Kalamazoo, Where's Bohemia and Cool Whip. I'm not so sure about Where's Bohemia.
Gradually their popularity grew and they played larger and farther flung gigs. Some time in 1989, they recorded "Shut Up and Listen to Majosha." That's about the time Dave got the boot and was replaced with Chris (Hound). They also borrowed Evan Olsen from Chuck Folds' band, the DT's at about the same time. Various tracks on Shut Up feature Dave, Chris or Ben on drums and/or Evan, Ben or Millard doing vocals. Shut Up contains, among others, the 4 songs from Party Night (remixed and/or rerecorded), Emaline and Video.
At about the same time they did some sort of dance mix of Get That Bug that was released somehow in Japan. As a promotional CD?
At some point, Hound got sacked as well, and was replaced by Eddie Walker, who I think was also in the DT's with Chuck and Evan (all 3 of whom eventually became Bus Stop with Snuzz).
In early 1990 Majosha broke up, and Ben formed Pots and Pans with Snuzz and some other guy. Ben played drums. They disappeared soon after.
---
Ben's name also appears on the band Barry Black's debut album, playing either piano or drums on 9 out of 14 of the tracks. Barry Black's music is a serene, jazzy-style; mostly instrumental. Ben also plays drums on a few tracks on Fleming and John's debut albom, "Delusions of Grandeur.". He makes a cameo appearance in the video for "I'm not afraid" as a drummer atop a huge cake. His name also appears in various places on CDs by his brother Chuck's band, Bus Stop.
Robert: Used to be in a band called Toxic Popsicle. Their album is still available from D-Tox Records.
2. Who have Ben Folds Five toured with?
Neil Young, Jewel, Counting Crows, Gin Blossoms, and that whole "Lollapalooza" second-stage thing. to name just a few...
3. Is the band on the Internet?
Yes and no. There is an "official" web page being run by (?) Sony/550 Records at www.bffweb.com, where there is a biography on the band, sound clips, and merchandise ordering information. Frank Maynard also maintains an excellent mailing list. For more information, visit his BFF page at www.oeonline.com/bff.
4. What can be expected if I see the band live?
The band travels from destination to destination in a U-Haul truck, carrying Ben's own Baldwin baby-grand piano. During the show, expect Ben to be jumping around, piano-diving, stool-throwing, and a generally fun and exciting high-energy show!
Part II: Album Questions
1. D-Tox Jackson Cannery 7"
A. What are the track listings?
1. Jackson Cannery
2. Eddie Walker, This is Your Life
Recorded by Caleb Southern on March 25th, 1994. "Jackson Cannery" is a different recording than on the self-titled album.
B. Is this still available?
No. As of April 1996, this limited edition one-time pressing is out of stock.
2. Self-titled album
A. What are the differences between the tape and CD versions?
The copies are identical with the exception of "Uncle Walter" which includes the line "well fuck you!" in the lyrics.
B. Why is there sometimes talking at the beginning/end of tracks?
The recording of most of the album tracks were done in a "live-show" style, sans-audience. Fewer re-takes pushed a faster release date for the album.
C. Who is Anna Goodman?
Anna Goodman is a good friend of Ben's who also helped co-write "Alice Childress" and "The Last Polka".
D. Who is Alice Childress?
Despite rumors, the song "Alice Childress" is not referring to the author and playright Alice Childress, or the songwriter Alex Chilton. The name was evoked from a mental patient in a hospital where Anna Goodman (the song's co-writer) worked. Alice supposedly threw mop watter on Anna.
3. Whatever and Ever Amen
A. General information
The highly anticipated second album from Ben Folds Five, titled " Whatever and Ever Amen", contains twelve tracks. The track listing is as follows:
1. One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces
2. Fair
3. Brick
4. Song for the Dumped
5. Selfless, Cold and Composed
6. Kate
7. Smoke
8. Cigarette
9. Steven's Last Night in Town
10. Battle of Who Could Care Less
11. Missing the War
12. Evaporated
The japanese version of the album will contain one extra track, "Song for the Dumped" as sung by Ben in japanese.
The release dates are as follows:
Japan, February 5th, 1997
Europe, February 17th, 1997
UK, March 3rd, 1997
USA and the rest of the world, March 18th, 1997
It will be released on Sony/550 Records.
B. What are the songs about?
The following are explanations of the songs by Ben himself, taken from the Sony/550 web site:
One Angry Dwarf And 200 Solemn Faces: "This is basically a portrait of a guy that has to succeed so he can tell off everyone who used to pick on him. It's a revenge anthem."
Fair: "It's a 'dig-me-and-all-my-pain' type of song. Definitely for the self-destructive romantic person. It came from a newspaper article concerning a domestic dispute which wound up in a death."
Brick: "It's really self-explanatory."
Song For The Dumped: "Darren, our drummer, just got dumped and scratched out some angry lyrics and gave them to me. It was a joke, but it was coming from a real place. I put the music to it in minutes. It's a satire on the obtuse male anger of being dumped, but still caring about the girl who dumped you."
Selfless, Cold And Composed: "It's kind of about your average middle-class white guy ? the kind of guy that can't express his emotions and has a hard time caring about others. He's the anti- dote to the guy in 'Dumped.'"
Kate: "Really it's a song that's just cute and adoring. I felt it was time for a song like that from someone. from our generation. It's a crush song."
Smoke: "I co-wrote this song with someone else, so I wouldn't want to speak for her, but what it means to me is that you can't escape from your memories or your past,"
Cigarette: "It's a weird vibe song."
Steven's Last Night In Town: "A guy came to visit us in North Carolina and he hung out for a while, but then he wouldn't leave. We must have thrown five or six going-away parties for him. So I wrote him this song and gave it to him."
Battle Of Who Could Care Less: "This is like the notion that the more you care about some thing your cat or whatever - the less they care about you. It's the same way in the world of rock 'n' roll a lot - I wanted to get that across."
Missing The War: "This is a song left over from the first album. It's really the sister song to 'Last Polka' on the first album."
Evaporated: "It's about loss."
Part III: Miscellaneous
1. How can I contact the band?
First ane foremost, get on their snailmail list. Rip the card out of the insert that came with the CD, and send it in to Caroline Records. For lyrics and further information, contact:
Ben Folds Five
P. O. Box 1028
Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514-1028
2. Are band t-shirts available if I didn't go to any of the live shows?
Yes! Full ordering information is available on the official web page at www.bffweb.com. A japanese-imported limited-edition signed songbook is also available for ordering.
3. Frank Maynard's mailing list
A. What is it?
"The Magical Armchair" is a manual mailing-list (not a listserv) maintained by Frank Maynard. It is where the bulk of the information in thie FAQ was found, and offers an in-depth look at the band through the eyes of it's fans.
B. How do I join the list?
Send e-mail to maynard@oeonline.com saying that you wish to be added to the list.
4. Has the band made any television appearances?
USA coverage includes the band's performance of "Underground" on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and ABC's "In Concert". The band's two videos (Underground and Uncle Walter) have each aired once on MTV's 120 Minutes, and the band was also briefly featured durring MTV's Lollapalooza coverage. And of course there are those frequent apperances as background music for MTV, Party of Five, and countless others. Ben Folds also lended his voice for an episode of "Space Ghost: Coast to Coast".
UK coverage includes an appearence on the BBC show "Later... with Jules Holland" in which they only played one song, Philosophy. The video for Battle of Who Could Care Less has appeared on The Chart Show (ITV), Top of the Pops 2 (BBC2), and The O Zone (BBC2). An interview also appeared on The O Zone.
Japanese coverage includes some strange sitcom having a fixation with Ben Folds?
Part IV: Legal stuff
1. Who wrote this FAQ?
Scott A. Schneider (echo@msn.globaldialog.com).
The following people also contributed in one way or another:
Frank Maynard, Mark Piper, Alex Torrance, Gillmer Derge, K. V. Sutton.
2. Can I re-distribute this FAQ?
Yes, as long as it is not altered in any form. A short e-mail is also appreciated, but not necessary.
3. Misc. legal information
This document (both visual and HTML) is Copyright (c) 1996-97, S. A. Schneider.